WMU News

WMU closes in on record year for private gifts

June 25, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University will post record numbers for private support when the books are closed on the 1999-2000 fiscal year June 30. With receipts from June still to be included, WMU has already surpassed the previous records for cash gifts and for total gifts.

According to a report presented to the WMU Board of Trustees at its June 23 meeting, cash gifts received by the WMU Foundation during the 1999-2000 fiscal year stood at $12,980,833 as of May 31. That constitutes an increase of more than $3.6 million compared to the same 11-month period of the preceding fiscal year. The previous WMU Foundation record for cash gifts was $10,228,786 set in 1995-96.

The Paper Technology Foundation, which supports the internationally known paper programs at WMU, reported fiscal year-to-date cash gifts of $1,449,142. That figure is more than four times the $319,501 received during the first 11 months of the 1998-99 fiscal year.

Fiscal year-to-date cash gifts to Western Michigan University, received through the two foundations, increased by 53 percent compared to the same period one year ago, to a total of $14,429,142 as of May 31. The cash-gift total for all of 1998-99 was $10.2 million.

Total gifts to the university, including non-cash gifts such as equipment and property, totaled $17,150,222 through May 31. That represents an increase of more than $6.5 million compared to the previous year. It is also $4.6 million more than the previous one-year record total of $12.5 million, set in 1995-96.

Among the larger gifts received during April and May were several given for scholarships.

Two gifts totaling more than $95,000 were given for the Edward Ravitz Memorial Scholarship in Construction Engineering by Mrs. Edward Ravitz of Florida and by Ms Eleanor R. Belknap of Massachusetts, the daughter of the late Edward Ravitz.

A $100,000 distribution from the estate of Harold E. Knight will be applied to the Kenneth W. Knight Memorial Scholarship in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The university has received a total of $500,000 for the scholarship from the estate of Knight, a 1935 WMU graduate.

A former WMU faculty member made anonymous contributions totaling $370,000 in deferred cash gifts through gift annuities and a bequest. The funds will eventually be used for a graduate fellowship in educational leadership.

Anonymous gifts from alumni will boost student scholarships at WMU. An anonymous gift was made by an alumni couple from the classes of 1959 and 1960. The Georgia couple has provided a bequest valued at $80,000 for an endowed scholarship. Scholarships also will be funded by an anonymous bequest valued at $70,000 from a 1980 graduate who resides in West Michigan.

With the single exception of gifts to the paper science program, which are received through the Paper Technology Foundation, all gifts to Western Michigan University are received through the WMU Foundation, which was incorporated in 1976 to provide and promote private support for the university.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 616 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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